The Biggest Interior Design Trends of 2016

I don't have a crystal ball, but I've been in this business for a long time and have a sixth sense about which way the wind is blowing when it comes to interior decorating. Over the past year, there are a few design trends that have been gaining popularity. Here's what I think is really going to take off in 2016:


The Pantone color of the year for 2016 is rose quart and serenity, and they're right on target. Soft pastels are in; primary colors are out. One great place for pastels? The kitchen! Pastel appliances are making a comeback, but opt for neutrals elsewhere to avoid a flashback to the 1970s. You can also keep your stainless steel and add color to your cabinets. I like Springtime by Sherwin-Williams and Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore. A word to the wise: stick with one or two pastels to prevent your room from looking like an Easter egg explosion.

Jewel Tones

Forget red, yellow, and blue - jewel tones are having (another) moment. Popularized in the 80s before falling out of favor, designers are embracing these bright, lush colors. Behr's 2016 Trend Report offers gorgeous examples of this trend, including the emerald-blue Emperor's Silk and the deep purple-pink Pagoda. The latest fabrics from Ralph Lauren are a smorgasbord of navy blues, hunter greens, and rich crimsons. With jewel tones, you can add a few accessories, paint a feature wall, or go all in with a bright, colorful room.

Dark Neutral Bases

It's not just black and white anymore. 2016 will usher out the era of white walls and blonde woods as darker colors emerge on the scene. Charcoals, inky blacks, blue-greys, and the ubiquitous 'greige' will become the norm this year. A word of caution, though - a small room will look even smaller if you paint the walls a darker shade. Keep the look airy and light-filled by incorporating another big trend of 2016...mirrors!


Mirrors aren't just for the bedroom and bathroom. They reflect existing light, brightening up a room and making it seem larger and airier. A beautiful mirror is a work of art, and you can hang it as such. I've seen gallery walls of mirrors rather than pictures or photographs, and the result is just stunning. Look for dimensional mirrors that incorporate geometric shapes to add a modern touch to your dining room.

Sculptural Lighting

2016 will put the f-u-n in functional lighting. In 2015, purchasers would decide between pendants, sconces, and chandeliers. This year, the choices are unlimited and some lighting options are just gorgeous! &tradition's Light Forest has an organic shape that appears to grow along the wall like moss or ivy. The mod Plumage collection by Axo Light could be a standalone sculpture. And the recently released Nimbus pendant by CTO Lighting is so stunning that you won't need any artwork on your walls. 


This isn't your parents' wallpaper. For many DIYers, the thought of wallpaper conjures up a distinct set of smells, textures, and chores, all of them unpleasant. But wallpaper application and removal has thankfully advanced since the days of yore, and putting up wallpaper no longer has to mean hours spent getting your hands dirty in a fume-filled room. It still takes time to properly hang wallpaper, but when you choose the right pattern the results are worth it. Hire an expert for a no muss, no fuss job that gives you the look you want.

Exotic Textiles

Expect to see more of those beautiful handmade fabrics from around the world, especially from Guatemala and India. These textiles are works of art in and of themselves, and you don't need to upholster your furniture in brilliant woven patterns to try out this trend. A colorful embroidered cloth becomes a focal point for your room when hung on a wall. Handwoven placemats turn place settings into eye candy for your guests. Drape part of your coffee table in an abstract fabric. I love this trend because it adds such vibrancy to a room!


We'd all love to bring the outside in when we decorate, but most people don't have time to take care of their indoor plants. If they aren't difficult to care for (I'm looking at you, orchids!), then they need constant pruning to ensure your house doesn't become a jungle. Succulents provide an easy solution for the homeowner who wants a little nature but isn't looking for a pet plant. Just plant in a proper container (there are a ton of cute options), and spritz with water occasionally. Instant greenery!

There are tons of other design trends taking over this year. Geometric floor tiles are going to be big, and many designers are using raw, natural, organic materials: think bamboo, marble, quartz, and pyrite. I've also seen more mixed metals, especially warm colors like satin brass and lacquered copper.

I'm so excited to see what 2016 brings for High Point, NC Furniture Advisor, and the interior design industry as a whole. Stay tuned to my Facebook page; I'll have all the updates!